East Hampton man hopes to start Greenport Jet Ski business

09/02/2017 6:01 AM |

An East Hampton man is hoping to offer Jet Ski tours that launch from Preston’s Dock in Greenport and tour the waters around Shelter Island and Gardiners Bay.

Evan Hoffman is planning a business called Seabreeze Jet Skis. He discussed the proposed business in front of the Greenport Village Planning Board Thursday.

Mr. Hoffman, who is also a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, said he is hoping to begin the venture this month and continue until the start of October and then resume in April 2018.

But Planning Board members on Thursday raised a number of questions about the potential impact of the business and told Mr. Hoffman to speak with the village attorney and the village harbor master first.

When Mr. Hoffman asked if it was possible that he might not be able to start this season, Planning Board member Mary Given responded: “It might not happen this season.”

Mr. Hoffman said he would ride one Jet Ski during the tour alongside two Jet Skis with customers.

“It’s not a very large group,” he said.

The hours will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and he plans to provide life preservers and a 15-minute safety tutorial, Mr. Hoffman said in response to questions from the board.

The business will only have one other employee beside Mr. Hoffman, who said he plans to arrive by Jet Ski from East Hampton. The other two Jet Skis will be attached to the floating dock by Preston’s.

Guests will be instructed to arrive in bathing suits or wet suits. As for bathrooms, Mr. Hoffman said the customers could use the public bathrooms by the harbor.

The Jet Skis he plans to use are made for rough water and cost $20,000 apiece.

“It’s the most expensive Jet Ski you can buy,” Mr. Hoffman said, adding that they will have three mufflers and are “whisper quiet” with “ultra low emissions.”

Fueling will be done at a marina in Shelter Island, Mr. Hoffman said in response to questions from the board.

After September, Mr. Hoffman said he plans to move the business to Miami for the winter.

The board formally accepted the application, but plans on discussing it further at its Sept. 7 before voting on it.

Only one audience member spoke Thursday.

“I think this is a wonderful thing,” said resident Chatty Allen. “But I’m listening to this and shaking my head at some things you’re asking.”

She said there weren’t this many questions asked two years year ago when an applicant sought to have “flyboarding”  — in which the rider is propelled in the air on jets stream of water attached to his feet — also at Preston’s Dock.

Ms. Allen said that seems more dangerous.

Glynis Berry, the village’s planning consultant, said the board did ask the same questions of the flyboarding proposal.

Photo caption: Evan Hoffman details his business plan before the Greenport Planning Board Thursday night. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

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